Gibraltar Rd08: The Lull before the Storm

by Priyadarshan Banjan
2/1/2017 – The erstwhile leaders decided that this was the perfect time to recharge their batteries and take an unofficial timeout, settling for draws. Topalov sensed opportunity and dared Sutovsky to grab a winning advantage, which the latter did not take allowing the former to sneak into the lead as well. Ju Wenjun celebrated her birthday by creating history.

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Photos by John Saunders and Sophie Triay

Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival 2017

The Tradewise Gibraltar Open is one of the strongest and best organised events of its kind in the world. Anyone who knows the moves (and pays the entry fee) can take part, and perhaps face top participants like Fabiano Caruana, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave or Hikaru Nakamura. The tournament lasts from January 23 (opening) to February 4. The location is very balmy: ten hours of daylight, average day temperature 16° C, warm sea temperatures, beautiful scenery. Paradise!

Gibraltar 08: The Lull before the Storm

An American, a Frenchman, a Chinese and a Spaniard led the standings after seven rounds of play in this ten-round tourney. A number of times, you comes across a situation of unusual tranquility, so stable that you are sure something is wrong.

At the Tradewise Gibraltar Masters, the eighth and the antepenultimate round saw as many as ten draws in the top twelve boards. Maybe this is natural as most of the higher seeds were playing against the in-form lot among the 72 grandmasters in the fray. In addition, black won the only two games that did produce results in the top-twelve.

David Anton Guijarro

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave defended with the Gruenfeld against David Anton Guijarro where he gave up a pawn but there never really was anything of note.

[Event "Gibraltar Masters 2017"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.01.31"] [Round "8.1"] [White "Anton Guijarro, David"] [Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D85"] [WhiteElo "2650"] [BlackElo "2796"] [PlyCount "72"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [SourceDate "2003.06.08"] [TimeControl "6600+10"] [WhiteClock "0:40:12"] [BlackClock "0:25:10"] 1. d4 {554} Nf6 {770} 2. c4 {0} g6 {0} 3. Nc3 {0} d5 {0} 4. cxd5 {0} Nxd5 {0} 5. e4 {0} Nxc3 {0} 6. bxc3 {0} Bg7 {0} 7. Qa4+ {0} Qd7 {0} 8. Bb5 {0} c6 {0} 9. Be2 {0} O-O {46} 10. Qa3 {0} b6 {452} 11. Nf3 {0} c5 {0} 12. O-O {0} Bb7 {285} 13. d5 {94} e6 {25} 14. Be3 {0} exd5 {100} 15. Rad1 {0} Qd6 {247} 16. exd5 {347 } Nd7 {0} 17. c4 {65} Rfe8 {61} 18. Rfe1 {183} Nf6 {496} 19. Bd4 {854} Re7 {661 } 20. Bf1 {257} Rae8 {0} 21. Rxe7 {577} Rxe7 {0} 22. Bxf6 {474} Bxf6 {0} 23. Qxa7 {0} Kg7 {0} 24. Re1 {107} Rxe1 {0} 25. Nxe1 {0} Bc8 {0} 26. Nc2 {243} h5 { 453} 27. Qa3 {405} h4 {98} 28. Qe3 {179} Qe5 {597} 29. Qxe5 Bxe5 {19} 30. Bd3 { 82} f5 {97} 31. g3 {134} hxg3 32. hxg3 {92} g5 {0} 33. Na3 {667} Kf6 {45} 34. Nb5 {50} f4 {44} 35. Kg2 {102} fxg3 {13} 36. fxg3 {0} Bd7 {49} 1/2-1/2

Maxime speaks about the game and his chances

Hikaru Nakamura defended with the Queen’s Gambit Declined against Yu Yangyi. Nakamura solved the problems quite easily and after some mass exchanges in the middlegame, the players just repeated the position.

[Event "Gibraltar Masters 2017"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.01.31"] [Round "8.2"] [White "Yu, Yangyi"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D37"] [WhiteElo "2738"] [BlackElo "2785"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [SourceDate "2003.06.08"] [TimeControl "6600+10"] [WhiteClock "0:29:33"] [BlackClock "0:56:12"] 1. d4 {555} Nf6 {1144} 2. c4 {0} e6 {0} 3. Nf3 {3} d5 {0} 4. Nc3 {0} Be7 {0} 5. Bf4 {0} O-O {0} 6. e3 {0} c5 {0} 7. dxc5 {0} Bxc5 {0} 8. cxd5 {6} Nxd5 {0} 9. Nxd5 {0} exd5 {0} 10. a3 {6} Nc6 {0} 11. Bd3 {0} Bb6 {7} 12. O-O {73} Bg4 {46} 13. h3 {25} Bh5 {0} 14. b4 {30} a6 {215} 15. Rc1 {10} d4 {164} 16. Be4 {862} dxe3 {216} 17. Bxe3 {617} Bxe3 {600} 18. Qxd8 {135} Bxf2+ {1368} 19. Rxf2 {12} Rfxd8 {20} 20. Bxc6 {81} bxc6 {0} 21. Ne5 {21} f6 {0} 22. Nxc6 {10} Rd3 {0} 23. a4 {86} Be8 {302} 24. Rb2 {320} Kf8 {32} 25. b5 {124} axb5 {0} 26. axb5 {0} Rd6 {987} 27. Rbc2 {514} Rd5 {0} 28. Rb2 {45} Rd6 {23} 29. Rbc2 {27} Rd5 {0} 30. Rb2 {0} Rd6 {13} 31. Rbc2 {0} 1/2-1/2

Nakamura discusses his chances

The big-ticket British derby between Nigel Short and Michael Adams was washed out due to repetition.

Short had recently criticized Emil Sutovsky and Ju Wenjun for repeating the position in their game earlier in the tournament and committing a ‘sin’ by doing so. Short, of all people, must know that to sin is human but to forgive is divine.

[Event "Gibraltar Masters 2017"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.01.31"] [Round "8.3"] [White "Short, Nigel D"] [Black "Adams, Michael"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D58"] [WhiteElo "2675"] [BlackElo "2751"] [PlyCount "45"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [SourceDate "2003.06.08"] [TimeControl "6600+10"] [WhiteClock "0:49:15"] [BlackClock "0:55:11"] 1. Nf3 {556} d5 {573} 2. d4 {0} Nf6 {0} 3. c4 {4} e6 {0} 4. Nc3 {0} Be7 {0} 5. Bg5 {0} h6 {0} 6. Bh4 {0} O-O {0} 7. e3 {0} b6 {0} 8. Bd3 {94} Bb7 {12} 9. O-O {145} Nbd7 {3} 10. Qe2 {27} c5 {75} 11. Rfd1 {55} Ne4 {541} 12. Bg3 {183} cxd4 {153} 13. exd4 {9} Ndf6 {974} 14. Rac1 {895} Rc8 {199} 15. Bxe4 {774} Nxe4 {73} 16. Nxe4 {0} dxe4 {0} 17. Ne5 {28} Qe8 {609} 18. f4 {584} exf3 {316} 19. Nxf3 { 0} Bf6 {366} 20. Bd6 {3} Be7 {0} 21. Bg3 {108} Bf6 {0} 22. Bd6 {44} Be7 {0} 23. Bg3 1/2-1/2

Nigel Short on his game, draws, and more...

Emil Sutovsky faced Veselin Topalov’s Caro-Kann with a pawn sacrifice on the rim of the kingside.

Veselin declined and continued to make the usual Caro-Kann moves. But after a few moves, when Sutovsky castled kingside, the Bulgarian must have believed that he has lulled the Israeli into leaving the pawn en prise for too long. Topalov saw no reason to be generous and picked the pawn. Sutovsky generated tons of pressure on the queenside but Topalov had everything covered.

That is until he blundered on the 23rd move. His agony, though, was short-lived as Sutovsky failed to take advantage of his position and moved his knight to b3 instead of continuing milking the queenside immediately. However, Sutovsky still had the pressure and a draw in hand. The following critical position arose:

 

Sutovsky, with white, has to make a life-and-death decision. He is a pawn down but has more space on the queenside. How best to use it? Playing with the space advantage is a truly enjoyable approach to chess as you get to just crush your opponents as Daniel King explains in Power Play 13. The correct move would mean Sutovsky goes home with a draw despite being a pawn down, but an incorrect one should lead to a negative result, which is what transpired in the game.

[Event "Gibraltar Masters 2017"] [Site "Caleta"] [Date "2017.01.31"] [Round "?"] [White "Sutovsky, Emil"] [Black "Topalov, Veselin"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B12"] [WhiteElo "2628"] [BlackElo "2739"] [Annotator "Sadorra, Julio"] [PlyCount "84"] [EventDate "2017.01.31"] [EventCountry "ENG"] [SourceDate "2017.01.31"] {Hello chess lovers and fans! Now that Tata Steel Super-tournament is over, we can now focus more on following the fighting and exciting chess happening in Gibraltar :-D. In round 8, the only desicive game at the top boards that also affected the leaderboard is the game between the imaginative Israeli GM Sutovsky and former-World Champ GM Topalov.} 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. h4 h5 5. Bd3 $5 {this line sharp line only started becoming popular in high-level practice in 2014, thanks to the efforts of GMs Morozevich and Saric.} Bxd3 6. Qxd3 e6 7. Bg5 Be7 ({The most frequently played line here is} 7... Qb6 8. Nd2 Qa6 9. c4 Bb4 10. b3 {which was tested in the 4th round between Vocaturo and Caruana.}) 8. Nf3 Nh6 9. Bxh6 Rxh6 10. Nbd2 {the position that we have has been played by Sutovsky 3 months ago, which he nicely won.} Nd7 {I'm sure Topalov is still in his prep as revealed by his time consumption.} ({ Sutovsky's previous game went:} 10... Na6 $6 {the knight has no future here.} 11. c3 c5 12. a3 Rc8 13. b4 cxd4 14. cxd4 Kf8 15. Ke2 g6 16. Qb5 Rc7 17. Rac1 Nb8 18. Nb3 a6 19. Qd3 Kg7 20. Rxc7 Qxc7 21. Rc1 Qd7 22. Nc5 Bxc5 23. bxc5 Nc6 24. Rb1 Rh8 25. Qd2 $1 $16 {and White eventually converted his positional advantages into a win. 1-0 (59) Sutovsky,E (2625)-David,A (2574) Novi Sad SRB 2016}) 11. c3 {This normal move can lead to the same middlegame structure as in the previously mentioned game. It is also the new deviation according to the databases.} ({The only game played here before was} 11. g3 c5 12. c4 cxd4 13. cxd5 Qa5 $1 $13 {with a complex game. ½-½ (26) Potapov,P (2485) -Alekseenko,K (2570) Sochi 2016}) 11... c5 12. a3 Rc8 13. b4 cxd4 14. cxd4 Nb6 $1 {Black has a better version of the middlegame Sutovsky vs. David owing to the better placement of the knight.} 15. O-O $5 {Invitation from Emil: "Would you like to play a sharp, imbalanced game with me?"} ({Playing in a similar fashion as Sutovsky did in his previous game will not be as effective here:} 15. Ke2 Nc4 16. Rhc1 b5 17. a4 a6 {and Black has no problems.}) ({More circumspect is} 15. g3 Nc4 16. Kf1 (16. O-O) 16... Kf8 {but it's probably not in Sutovsky's style.}) 15... Bxh4 $1 {"Are you asking me?" replied the brave fighter from Bulgaria. Ladies & gentlemen, it is showtime! :-)} 16. Nxh4 Qxh4 17. Rac1 {"Let me 'show' you what I've got," Emil calmly and confidently said.} Qd8 {to which Veselin answered "OK, show me!"} 18. Qb5+ Qd7 19. Rxc8+ Nxc8 20. Qa5 b6 21. Qa6 {The fighters exchanged a series forcing blows, and when the smoke has cleared a little, the verbal fight ensues:} Ne7 {"You're not taking or threatening anything yet, so lemme just play a natural move here."} 22. Rc1 {"It's coming, just you wait..."} Kd8 $6 {"C'mon, I still don't see it," Veselin tauntingly said. Unfortunately for him, Veselin didn't sense that he is already drifting into a dangerous territory...} ({Objectively, it was safer to get the king out of the danger zone with} 22... f6 $5 23. Nf3 Kf7 {followed by transferring his rook to c8.}) 23. b5 $1 {"Almost there!" said Emil who craftily played a prohpylactic-attacking move.} ({The hasty} 23. a4 $2 { fails to} Nc6 24. a5 Nxb4 {and Black successfully kicks out White's annoying queen.}) 23... Nf5 {[#] White to play} 24. Nb3 $6 {This solid move was played after a 4-minute thought.} ({Unfortunately for the Israeli fighter, he missed here a great opportunity to show something real for the sacrificed pawn that he courageously initiated on move 15:} 24. a4 $3 Nxd4 {Then what?} 25. Kh1 $1 { Ofcourse this calm, cool move has to be foreseen & planned before venturing into sac-ing another pawn!} Rg6 (25... Rh8 26. a5 $40 {and White's attack crashes through!} Nxb5 (26... bxa5 27. b6 $1) 27. axb6 Ke7 28. Rb1 $18) 26. a5 Rg4 27. g3 $1 {Another calm, patient move that allows White to stop enemy counterplay and move forward his attack.} Nxb5 {the only way to try to hold on} 28. axb6 axb6 29. Qa8+ Ke7 30. Rc8 $18 {and Black would have been helpless to White's incoming decisive threats.}) 24... Rh8 {Veselin hurries to bring his rook to the defense of his impudent king.} 25. a4 Ke7 26. a5 Rb8 {"I made it!" Veselin said with a huge sigh of relief. The situation is still complex, and Emil still has compensation owing to his active pieces. However, now that the queenside is safely secured Emil has to play more accurately as his compensation will be questioned move by move.} 27. axb6 $2 {The only clear mistake in the game as it limits White's resources or allows Black to defend easily. But without enough concrete analysis (and time of course!), it's difficult to make the right choice here.} (27. Rc6 $1 Qb7 28. Qxb7+ Rxb7 29. a6 $1 {This is the resource that allows White to keep the balance.} Rd7 30. Rc8 { and Black cannot make progress:} Rd8 (30... g6 31. Kf1 $11) (30... g5 31. g3 $11 (31. Nc5 $5)) (30... f6 $2 {if Black is ambitious, White can even get more! } 31. Nc5 bxc5 32. dxc5 d4 33. c6 Rd5 34. b6 d3 35. bxa7 d2 36. Rc7+ $1 Ke8 ( 36... Kd8 37. a8=Q+ Kxc7 38. Qb7+ Kd8 39. c7+ $18) 37. a8=Q+ Rd8 38. Qxd8+ Kxd8 39. Rd7+ $18) 31. Rc7+ Rd7 32. Rc8 $11) 27... axb6 28. Rc6 Qb7 29. Qa3+ Kd7 { The position has stabilized, and in the next moves it is Veselin that executes his plan and controls the game.} 30. g3 Ke8 31. Qc1 Qe7 (31... Qd7 $5 { preventing rook to c7, but Veselin was probably concerned about} 32. Qg5 g6 $17 {[%cal Gd7d8,Gd8g5] but White only has ghost threats.}) 32. Rc7 Qd8 33. Qc6+ Kf8 34. Rd7 Qc8 $1 {Trading active pieces and simplifying when up in material--simple chess!} ({A kingside attack doesn't work as it allows White enough counterplay after} 34... Qg5 35. Qc7 Ra8 36. Rxf7+ Kg8 37. Qxb6 $1 Kxf7 38. Qb7+ $132) 35. Na5 $2 {Hastens the end. It is either a result of frustration with losing control of his initiative earlier, or discouragement for not seeing anything good coming from this position.} ({While it is true that White is much worse due to lack of compensatio, I think Black should nevertheless still have tried to resist and make Black do some technical work after} 35. Rc7 Qe8 $1 36. Kg2 (36. Rd7 Rc8 37. Qb7 Rc3 38. Rc7 Rxc7 39. Qxc7 Qxb5 $19) 36... Qxc6 37. bxc6 (37. Rxc6 g5 $19) 37... Ne7 38. Kh3 $17 {[%cal Gb8c8,Gb8a8,Gf8e8] Black still needs to make a few more important decisions to convert the advantage, but Veselin will most probably be up to the task!}) 35... bxa5 36. Rc7 Qd8 37. b6 Ne7 38. Qc5 a4 $19 {Black is a piece up for nothing and has a clear plan of trading his a-pawn for White's b-pawn.} 39. b7 a3 40. Qd6 a2 41. Rc1 Qxd6 42. exd6 Rxb7 {the rook ending is dead lost, so White resigned. A valiant effort from both players! I am looking forward to more enterprising battles in round 9 especially from "Top"-alov who has now made his way back to the Top!} 0-1

Topalov talks about his game. Note the fit of giggles — he had been discussing the term 'premature' with another well-known grandmaster, but that conversation apparently had some hidden meaning!wink

Women’s world no. 1 took on women’s world no. 2 in the Chinese derby played in French territory on the rock of Gibraltar.

Ju Wenjun was celebrating her 26th birthday. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she must have known that a win here takes her across the 2600 barrier.

It was a razor-sharp game with both players punching each other in turns, both fighters holding equality until near the time control when Yifan blundered decisively:

 

White has an opportunity to force a draw in this position. In time trouble, the world champion missed her chance and played 32.Qd6-d5 instead. Ju rang the bell to Yifan's castle and delivered a delicious mate. She became the fifth woman after Judit Polgar, Koneru Humpy, Anna Muzychuck, and Hou Yifan herself, to cross the 2600 mark.

 

[Event "Gibraltar Masters 2017"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.01.31"] [Round "8.15"] [White "Hou, Yifan"] [Black "Ju, Wenjun"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C11"] [WhiteElo "2651"] [BlackElo "2583"] [PlyCount "72"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [SourceDate "2003.06.08"] [TimeControl "6600+10"] [WhiteClock "0:03:31"] [BlackClock "0:00:54"] 1. e4 {568} e6 {592} 2. d4 {0} d5 {0} 3. Nc3 {0} Nf6 {0} 4. e5 {0} Nfd7 {0} 5. f4 {0} c5 {0} 6. Nf3 {0} Nc6 {0} 7. Be3 {0} Be7 {0} 8. Qd2 {0} O-O {8} 9. dxc5 {235} Nxc5 {0} 10. O-O-O {17} a6 {4} 11. Qf2 {0} b6 {0} 12. Nd4 {229} Qc7 {263} 13. g3 {291} Bb7 {1186} 14. Bg2 {630} Na5 {468} 15. f5 {1488} Qxe5 {696} 16. Bf4 {0} Qf6 {0} 17. h4 {745} e5 {560} 18. Nxd5 Bxd5 {44} 19. Bg5 {711} Qd6 {845 } 20. Bxe7 Qxe7 {0} 21. Bxd5 {253} exd4 {83} 22. Bxa8 Rxa8 {5} 23. Rhe1 {230} Qc7 {221} 24. b4 {296} Nc6 {36} 25. bxc5 {0} bxc5 {0} 26. Qf4 {66} Qb6 {382} 27. Qd6 {387} h5 {1149} 28. Re5 {112} c4 {0} 29. Rde1 {494} c3 {0} 30. Re8+ {0} Rxe8 {0} 31. Rxe8+ {0} Kh7 {0} 32. Qd5 $2 {3} (32. f6 $1 {weaving a net around the black king is necessary.} Qb2+ 33. Kd1 Qb1+ 34. Ke2 Qxc2+ 35. Kf3 Qd1+ 36. Kf2 Qc2+ $11 (36... c2 $4 37. Rh8+ Kg6 38. fxg7+ $18) (36... Qd2+ $4 37. Re2 c2 38. Qf8 Qh6 39. fxg7 Qxg7 40. Qxg7+ Kxg7 41. Rxc2 $18)) 32... d3 $3 {241} 33. Qxd3 {0} Nb4 $1 {0} (33... Qg1+ $4 34. Qd1 $18) 34. Qe4 {86} Qg1+ {0} 35. Qe1 { 0} Qg2 {0} 36. Qe4 {65} (36. Qe2 Qh1+ $1 37. Qe1 (37. Qd1 Nxa2+ 38. Kb1 Qb7+ $19) 37... Qb7 $3 $19 {White is defenceless!}) 36... Qd2+ {0} 0-1

The birthday girl speaks

Indian GM S.P. Sethuraman handed his in-form Austrian opponent IM Valentin Dragnev a nasty surprise.

 

[Event "Gibraltar Masters 2017"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.01.31"] [Round "8.17"] [White "Sethuraman, S.P."] [Black "Dragnev, Valentin"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A13"] [WhiteElo "2637"] [BlackElo "2492"] [PlyCount "47"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [SourceDate "2003.06.08"] [TimeControl "6600+10"] [WhiteClock "0:03:40"] [BlackClock "0:28:38"] 1. Nf3 {554} d5 {630} 2. c4 {15} e6 {3} 3. g3 {3} dxc4 {169} 4. Bg2 {21} Bd6 { 53} 5. Na3 {169} Bxa3 {26} 6. bxa3 {0} Nc6 {269} 7. Bb2 {112} Nf6 {0} 8. Qc2 { 192} O-O {106} 9. Ng5 {742} Re8 {1688} 10. f4 {1643} h6 {1724} 11. Nf3 {0} Qd5 {70} 12. Bxf6 gxf6 {0} 13. Ng5 {302} Qd7 {524} 14. Qh7+ {62} Kf8 {0} 15. Qxh6+ {108} Ke7 {0} 16. Ne4 {178} Qd4 {0} 17. Rc1 {34} Rg8 {248} 18. e3 {349} Qb2 {0} 19. Rc3 {396} Rg6 {154} 20. Qh5 {15} Qb6 {655} 21. Rxc4 {17} Bd7 {135} 22. O-O {14} Rag8 {5} 23. Rfc1 {124} Qb2 {161} 24. Qc5+ {72} 1-0

World's youngest grandmaster Deac Bogdan-Daniel managed to hold Peter Svidler to a draw.

Fabiano Caruana won from the black side of a Ruy Lopez by employing the Deferred Steinitz set up. Caruana got easy and dynamic play with pawn breaks on the queenside and center to win against Indian GM G.N. Gopal.

[Event "Gibraltar Masters 2017"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.01.31"] [Round "8.9"] [White "Gopal G.N."] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C60"] [WhiteElo "2579"] [BlackElo "2827"] [PlyCount "106"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [SourceDate "2003.06.08"] [TimeControl "6600+10"] [WhiteClock "0:39:06"] [BlackClock "0:07:54"] 1. e4 {553} e5 {564} 2. Nf3 {0} Nc6 {0} 3. Bb5 {0} g6 {0} 4. O-O {384} Bg7 {0} 5. c3 {0} a6 {0} 6. Ba4 {5} d6 {0} 7. d4 {142} Bd7 {0} 8. d5 {700} Nce7 {0} 9. Bxd7+ {24} Qxd7 {0} 10. c4 {112} h6 {0} 11. Nc3 {25} f5 {0} 12. Ne1 {342} Nf6 { 0} 13. f3 {0} O-O {0} 14. Nd3 {0} g5 {123} 15. exf5 {233} Qxf5 {314} 16. Nf2 { 30} b5 {68} 17. Qe2 {1080} c6 {891} 18. Nfe4 {264} Nxe4 {1045} 19. Nxe4 {5} bxc4 {1094} 20. Nxd6 {93} Qg6 {1} 21. Nxc4 {63} cxd5 {0} 22. Nxe5 {193} Qe6 {29 } 23. Re1 {8} Nf5 {0} 24. Nd3 {547} Qb6+ {81} 25. Kh1 {68} Rae8 {19} 26. Qf1 { 819} Rxe1 {381} 27. Nxe1 {455} Qg6 {936} 28. Qd3 {223} Bd4 {255} 29. g4 {253} Re8 {0} 30. Be3 {18} Rxe3 {127} 31. Qxf5 {70} Qxf5 {0} 32. gxf5 {0} Bxb2 {108} 33. Rd1 {22} Bc3 {22} 34. Nc2 {113} Re2 {0} 35. Nd4 {19} Rxa2 {0} 36. Rd3 {15} Bxd4 {431} 37. Rxd4 {0} Ra5 {0} 38. Kg2 {20} Kf7 {0} 39. Kg3 {24} Kf6 {7} 40. Kg4 {11} Rc5 {150} 41. f4 {0} gxf4 {0} 42. Rd3 {0} Ke5 {0} 43. Rd1 {0} Rc4 {0} 44. Ra1 {0} h5+ {0} 45. Kg5 {0} f3 {0} 46. Rf1 {0} Rg4+ {0} 47. Kxh5 {0} Rf4 {0 } 48. Kg5 {0} Rxf5+ {0} 49. Kg4 {0} f2 {0} 50. h4 {0} Ke4 {0} 51. h5 {0} Rf7 {0 } 52. h6 {0} Ke3 {0} 53. Kg5 {0} Ke2 {0} 0-1

When asked before the tournament who he would like to play in the tourney, Hikaru Nakamura did not think twice before naming his rival Fabiano Caruana. Dreams do come true — the ninth round will witness an American derby on the third board. Veselin Topalov has joined the erstwhile leaders and has a not-so-difficult task of beating David Anton Guijarro with white, while MVL is playing Yu Yangyi on the first board.

Only two rounds of play remain. The eighth round was too tranquil to be the end. You do know what is coming, don’t you?


Battle of Sexes Clip:

Watch LIVE with commentary!


Top Pairings and Results of Round 08:

Ti. Name FED Rtg Pts. Res. Pts. Ti. Name FED Rtg
GM Anton Guijarro David ESP 2650 6 ½-½ 6 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime FRA 2796
GM Yu Yangyi CHN 2738 6 ½-½ 6 GM Nakamura Hikaru USA 2785
GM Short Nigel D ENG 2675 ½-½ GM Adams Michael ENG 2751
GM Sutovsky Emil ISR 2628 0-1 GM Topalov Veselin BUL 2739
GM Fridman Daniel GER 2594 ½-½ GM Gelfand Boris ISR 2721
GM Matlakov Maxim RUS 2701 ½-½ GM Edouard Romain FRA 2613
GM Stefanova Antoaneta BUL 2512 ½-½ GM Cheparinov Ivan BUL 2689
GM Naiditsch Arkadij AZE 2702 5 ½-½ GM Akobian Varuzhan USA 2633
GM Gopal G.N. IND 2579 5 0-1 5 GM Caruana Fabiano USA 2827
GM Deac Bogdan-Daniel ROU 2572 5 ½-½ 5 GM Svidler Peter RUS 2748
GM Muzychuk Anna UKR 2558 5 ½-½ 5 GM Vitiugov Nikita RUS 2724
GM Donchenko Alexander GER 2559 5 ½-½ 5 GM Shankland Samuel L USA 2674
GM Fressinet Laurent FRA 2660 5 1-0 5 GM Vocaturo Daniele ITA 2606
GM Huzman Alexander ISR 2557 5 0-1 5 GM Howell David W L ENG 2655
GM Hou Yifan CHN 2651 5 0-1 5 GM Ju Wenjun CHN 2583
IM Carlstedt Jonathan GER 2413 5 ½-½ 5 GM Piorun Kacper POL 2651
GM Sethuraman S.P. IND 2637 5 1-0 5 IM Dragnev Valentin AUT 2492
GM Kovalenko Igor LAT 2684 1-0 5 GM Grigoriants Sergey RUS 2564
IM Steinberg Nitzan ISR 2486 1-0 GM Zvjaginsev Vadim RUS 2679
IM Santos Ruiz Miguel ESP 2484 ½-½ GM Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo VEN 2652
GM Maze Sebastien FRA 2613 1-0 IM Kobo Ori ISR 2482
GM Debashis Das IND 2472 0-1 GM Lagarde Maxime FRA 2594
GM Cramling Pia SWE 2454 ½-½ GM Istratescu Andrei FRA 2593
GM Gledura Benjamin HUN 2589 1-0 IM Salomon Johan NOR 2470
IM Wemmers Xander NED 2424 0-1 GM Lalith Babu M R IND 2587
GM Antipov Mikhail Al. RUS 2580 ½-½ IM Esserman Marc USA 2468
GM Sundararajan Kidambi IND 2420 ½-½ GM Schroeder Jan-Christian GER 2550
GM Libiszewski Fabien FRA 2545 1-0 IM Kantans Toms LAT 2456
IM Bellin Robert ENG 2353 0-1 GM Del Rio De Angelis Salvador G ESP 2527
FM Shachar Ehud ISR 2374 ½-½ GM Lemos Damian ARG 2516
FM Kozak Adam HUN 2376 0-1 GM Mikhalevski Victor ISR 2504
IM Krysa Leandro ARG 2491 1-0 IM Omar Noaman UAE 2369
GM Ivanchuk Vassily UKR 2752 4 1-0 4 IM Docx Stefan BEL 2405
GM Ganguly Surya Shekhar IND 2657 4 1-0 4 IM Batchimeg Tuvshintugs MGL 2390
  Henderson De La Fuente Lance ESP 2380 4 1-0 4 GM Gupta Abhijeet IND 2645
GM Oparin Grigoriy RUS 2625 4 1-0 4 WGM Tsolakidou Stavroula GRE 2387
GM Kaidanov Gregory S USA 2572 4 0-1 4 FM Garriga Cazorla Pere ESP 2386
GM Muzychuk Mariya UKR 2546 4 1-0 4 FM Ladron De Guevara Pinto Paolo ESP 2386
IM Szabo Bence HUN 2378 4 ½-½ 4 GM Spraggett Kevin CAN 2542
GM Lagno Kateryna RUS 2530 4 1-0 4 IM Herman Matthew J USA 2383
GM Gunina Valentina RUS 2524 4 1-0 4 WGM Gara Ticia HUN 2378
IM Siva Mahadevan IND 2356 4 ½-½ 4 IM Aryan Chopra IND 2503
IM Kollars Dmitrij GER 2500 4 ½-½ 4 WGM Soumya Swaminathan IND 2375
  Kulkarni Rakesh IND 2344 4 0-1 4 IM Batsiashvili Nino GEO 2492
IM Paehtz Elisabeth GER 2468 4 0-1 4 GM Arakhamia-Grant Ketevan SCO 2370
FM Rakesh Kumar Jena IND 2335 4 ½-½ 4 IM Ider Borya FRA 2463
  Bujnoch Radek CZE 2233 4 ½-½ 4 IM Javakhishvili Lela GEO 2455
IM Cheng Bobby AUS 2452 4 1-0 4 WGM Papp Petra HUN 2352
IM Khademalsharieh Sarasadat IRI 2452 4 ½-½ 4 IM Mannion Stephen R SCO 2326
  Galmandakh Badrakh MGL 2215 4 ½-½ 4 GM Zhukova Natalia UKR 2447
  Finsterwalder Sebastian GER 2130 4 0-1 4 IM Zatonskih Anna USA 2443
  Burrows Martin P ENG 2124 4 0-1 4 GM Khotenashvili Bela GEO 2430
FM Pustovoitova Daria RUS 2407 4 1-0 4 FM Lombaers Peter NED 2314
FM Webb Laurence E ENG 2313 0-1 GM Blomqvist Erik SWE 2574
FM Tate Alan SCO 2309 0-1 GM Narciso Dublan Marc ESP 2508
IM Saravanan V. IND 2306 1-0 IM Liang Awonder USA 2496
IM Povah Nigel E ENG 2298 0-1 GM Cuenca Jimenez Jose Fernando ESP 2492
GM Riff Jean-Noel FRA 2468 1-0 IM Piasetski Leon CAN 2327
IM Kantor Gergely HUN 2448 1-0 WGM Pourkashiyan Atousa IRI 2303
FM Loh Zachary AUS 2291 0-1 GM Womacka Mathias GER 2435
FM Buchenau Frank GER 2274 ½-½ IM Sarkar Justin USA 2428
IM Karavade Eesha IND 2418 1-0 WIM Kantane Anna POL 2259
FM Sanchez Jerez Emilio Miguel ESP 2257 ½-½ IM Kuipers Stefan NED 2414
FM De Francesco Klaus GER 2252 0-1 WIM Shvayger Yuliya ISR 2413
FM Cordes Hans-Joerg Dr. GER 2242 0-1 IM Vega Gutierrez Sabrina ESP 2406
FM Mihajlov Sebastian NOR 2384 ½-½   Gluhovsky Mark RUS 2263
  Serarols Mabras Bernat ESP 2242 0-1 IM Godart Francois BEL 2381
IM Derakhshani Dorsa IRI 2370 1-0 FM Bannink Bernard NED 2244
  Weisbuch Udi ISR 2240 0-1 FM Thavandiran Shiyam CAN 2367
GM Paehtz Thomas GER 2365 1-0   Tscharotschkin Michael GER 2190
  Bopp Thomas Dr. GER 2157 0-1 IM Vuilleumier Alexandre SUI 2347
  Herzwurm Robert GER 2143 0-1 IM Sodoma Jan CZE 2344
  Seraoui Mohcen ALG 2100 0-1 GM Bellon Lopez Juan Manuel ESP 2339
  Amgalanbaatar Ravdanlkhumbuu MGL 1988 0-1 3 GM Mastrovasilis Athanasios GRE 2551
  Lapusan Razvan FRA 1525 0-1 1 CM Reuben Stewart *) ENG 2076
IM Bellahcene Bilel FRA 2493 3 1-0 3 FM Baert Andy BEL 2210
CM Osuna Vega Enrique ESP 2181 3 0-1 3 FM Perez Garcia Alejandro ESP 2398
CM Herbold Manfred GER 2198 3 0-1 3 FM Guerra Rivera Salvador ESP 2389
  Semprun Martinez Fernando ESP 2174 3 0-1 3 IM Milliet Sophie FRA 2387
FM Jessel Stephen IRL 2382 3 1-0 3 FM Derakhshani Borna IRI 2195
  Mueller-Dehn Christian Dr. GER 2170 3 0-1 3 IM Nomin-Erdene Davaademberel MGL 2378
IM Lazarne Vajda Szidonia HUN 2364 3 1-0 3   Veltkamp Gerben NED 2166
FM Smith Andrew Philip IRL 2152 3 1-0 3 IM Sahl Bjarke NOR 2363
FM Gulamali Kazim USA 2341 3 1-0 3   Gonzalez Gonzalez Alfonso ESP 2162
FM De Haan Eric NED 2319 3 1-0 3   Bendayan Claros Aaron ESP 2128
FM Weeramantry Sunil SRI 2129 3 ½-½ 3 FM Lopez Mulet Inigo ESP 2304
  Dasaolu Rotimi NGR 2051 3 0-1 3 FM Bergstrom Rolf SWE 2268
  Agbabishvili Lali CAN 2095 3 0-1 3 FM Plotkin Victor CAN 2253
WIM Pratyusha Bodda IND 2247 3 1-0 3   Behrendt Clemens GER 2121
FM Gluckman Paul RSA 1831 3 0-1 3 FM Damia Angelo ITA 2233
WIM Heinemann Josefine GER 2227 3 ½-½ 3   Compton Alistair NZL 2094
  Pinho Paulo POR 2220 3 1-0 3   Kozarcanin Sead CRO 2069
IM Gluckman David RSA 2215 3 1-0 3   Feldbacher Harald GER 2050
  Slinger Tony J ENG 1911 3 0-1 3   Verneuil Pascal FRA 2215
  Villar Reymundo Juan Antonio PER 2212 3 ½-½ 3   Gillis Onieva Celia ESP 1966
IM Welling Gerard NED 2314 ½-½ 3   Roman Lopez Jesus ESP 1962
  Skou Niels DEN 2025 0-1 FM Wantiez Fabrice BEL 2312
FM Bach Matthias GER 2264 ½-½   Hewson Brian Wr ENG 2055
  Aroven Mikael SWE 2172 1-0   Berrocal Ruiz Valentin ESP 2042
FM Alberto Manuel ANG 2168 0-1   Hamer Martyn ENG 2039

 

Top rankings after Round 8

Rk. SNo Ti. Name FED Rtg Pts.  TB1  w-we
1 24 GM Anton Guijarro David ESP 2650 6.5 2839 1.93
2 2 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime FRA 2796 6.5 2833 0.51
3 3 GM Nakamura Hikaru USA 2785 6.5 2829 0.54
4 8 GM Yu Yangyi CHN 2738 6.5 2817 0.80
5 7 GM Topalov Veselin BUL 2739 6.5 2791 0.55
6 5 GM Adams Michael ENG 2751 6.0 2787 0.47
7 16 GM Short Nigel D ENG 2675 6.0 2772 1.13
8 38 GM Ju Wenjun CHN 2583 6.0 2752 1.82
9 20 GM Howell David W L ENG 2655 6.0 2751 1.06
10 13 GM Cheparinov Ivan BUL 2689 6.0 2733 0.52
11 1 GM Caruana Fabiano USA 2827 6.0 2716 -0.67
12 12 GM Matlakov Maxim RUS 2701 6.0 2712 0.21
13 58 GM Stefanova Antoaneta BUL 2512 6.0 2708 2.13
14 27 GM Akobian Varuzhan USA 2633 6.0 2707 0.87
15 33 GM Fridman Daniel GER 2594 6.0 2701 0.96
16 10 GM Gelfand Boris ISR 2721 6.0 2700 -0.03
17 18 GM Fressinet Laurent FRA 2660 6.0 2692 0.38
18 26 GM Sethuraman S.P. IND 2637 6.0 2686 0.59
19 30 GM Edouard Romain FRA 2613 6.0 2630 0.29
20 28 GM Sutovsky Emil ISR 2628 5.5 2697 0.84
21 34 GM Lagarde Maxime FRA 2594 5.5 2696 1.17
22 11 GM Naiditsch Arkadij AZE 2702 5.5 2676 -0.11
23 94 IM Carlstedt Jonathan GER 2413 5.5 2670 2.86
24 9 GM Vitiugov Nikita RUS 2724 5.5 2664 -0.51
25 6 GM Svidler Peter RUS 2748 5.5 2654 -0.74
26 23 GM Piorun Kacper POL 2651 5.5 2651 0.12
27 69 IM Steinberg Nitzan ISR 2486 5.5 2649 1.73
28 47 GM Muzychuk Anna UKR 2558 5.5 2645 0.94
29 42 GM Deac Bogdan-Daniel ROU 2572 5.5 2637 0.79
30 31 GM Maze Sebastien FRA 2613 5.5 2635 0.38
31 17 GM Shankland Samuel L USA 2674 5.5 2623 -0.43
32 68 IM Krysa Leandro ARG 2491 5.5 2609 1.26
33 14 GM Kovalenko Igor LAT 2684 5.5 2597 -0.76
34 37 GM Lalith Babu M R IND 2587 5.5 2586 0.15
35 46 GM Donchenko Alexander GER 2559 5.5 2576 0.28
36 36 GM Gledura Benjamin HUN 2589 5.5 2555 -0.15
37 52 GM Libiszewski Fabien FRA 2545 5.5 2534 0.08
38 55 GM Del Rio De Angelis Salvador G ESP 2527 5.5 2489 -0.32
39 60 GM Mikhalevski Victor ISR 2504 5.5 2416 -0.34
40 21 GM Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo VEN 2652 5.0 2627 -0.17
41 40 GM Gopal G.N. IND 2579 5.0 2615 0.43
42 22 GM Hou Yifan CHN 2651 5.0 2608 -0.36
43 54 GM Lagno Kateryna RUS 2530 5.0 2605 0.78
44 39 GM Antipov Mikhail Al. RUS 2580 5.0 2603 0.33
45 32 GM Vocaturo Daniele ITA 2606 5.0 2601 0.04
46 48 GM Huzman Alexander ISR 2557 5.0 2598 0.54
  67 IM Dragnev Valentin AUT 2492 5.0 2598 1.24
48 104 FM Garriga Cazorla Pere ESP 2386 5.0 2588 2.30
49 50 GM Schroeder Jan-Christian GER 2550 5.0 2571 0.32
50 45 GM Grigoriants Sergey RUS 2564 5.0 2569 0.13

 

Top pairings Round 9 on 2017/02/01 at 15.00

Ti. Name FED Rtg Pts. Res. Pts. Ti. Name FED Rtg
GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime FRA 2796   GM Yu Yangyi CHN 2738
GM Topalov Veselin BUL 2739   GM Anton Guijarro David ESP 2650
GM Nakamura Hikaru USA 2785   6 GM Caruana Fabiano USA 2827
GM Adams Michael ENG 2751 6   6 GM Sethuraman S.P. IND 2637
GM Gelfand Boris ISR 2721 6   6 GM Stefanova Antoaneta BUL 2512
GM Howell David W L ENG 2655 6   6 GM Matlakov Maxim RUS 2701
GM Cheparinov Ivan BUL 2689 6   6 GM Fridman Daniel GER 2594
GM Edouard Romain FRA 2613 6   6 GM Short Nigel D ENG 2675
GM Akobian Varuzhan USA 2633 6   6 GM Fressinet Laurent FRA 2660
GM Ju Wenjun CHN 2583 6   GM Maze Sebastien FRA 2613
GM Svidler Peter RUS 2748   GM Donchenko Alexander GER 2559
GM Vitiugov Nikita RUS 2724   GM Deac Bogdan-Daniel ROU 2572
GM Lalith Babu M R IND 2587   GM Naiditsch Arkadij AZE 2702
GM Kovalenko Igor LAT 2684   GM Muzychuk Anna UKR 2558
GM Shankland Samuel L USA 2674   GM Libiszewski Fabien FRA 2545
GM Piorun Kacper POL 2651   IM Krysa Leandro ARG 2491
GM Del Rio De Angelis Salvador G ESP 2527   GM Sutovsky Emil ISR 2628
GM Lagarde Maxime FRA 2594   IM Steinberg Nitzan ISR 2486
GM Mikhalevski Victor ISR 2504   GM Gledura Benjamin HUN 2589
GM Ivanchuk Vassily UKR 2752 5   IM Carlstedt Jonathan GER 2413
GM Lemos Damian ARG 2516 5   5 GM Ganguly Surya Shekhar IND 2657
GM Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo VEN 2652 5   5 GM Cramling Pia SWE 2454
IM Batsiashvili Nino GEO 2492 5   5 GM Hou Yifan CHN 2651
IM Dragnev Valentin AUT 2492 5   5 GM Oparin Grigoriy RUS 2625
GM Vocaturo Daniele ITA 2606 5   5 IM Santos Ruiz Miguel ESP 2484
GM Istratescu Andrei FRA 2593 5   5 IM Cheng Bobby AUS 2452
IM Zatonskih Anna USA 2443 5   5 GM Antipov Mikhail Al. RUS 2580
IM Esserman Marc USA 2468 5   5 GM Gopal G.N. IND 2579
GM Grigoriants Sergey RUS 2564 5   5 GM Sundararajan Kidambi IND 2420
GM Khotenashvili Bela GEO 2430 5   5 GM Huzman Alexander ISR 2557
GM Schroeder Jan-Christian GER 2550 5   5 FM Pustovoitova Daria RUS 2407
GM Arakhamia-Grant Ketevan SCO 2370 5   5 GM Muzychuk Mariya UKR 2546
FM Garriga Cazorla Pere ESP 2386 5   5 GM Lagno Kateryna RUS 2530
  Henderson De La Fuente Lance ESP 2380 5   5 GM Gunina Valentina RUS 2524
GM Zvjaginsev Vadim RUS 2679   5 FM Shachar Ehud ISR 2374
WIM Shvayger Yuliya ISR 2413   GM Blomqvist Erik SWE 2574
GM Spraggett Kevin CAN 2542   IM Vega Gutierrez Sabrina ESP 2406
GM Narciso Dublan Marc ESP 2508   IM Szabo Bence HUN 2378
IM Aryan Chopra IND 2503   GM Paehtz Thomas GER 2365
IM Godart Francois BEL 2381   IM Kollars Dmitrij GER 2500
GM Cuenca Jimenez Jose Fernando ESP 2492   FM Kozak Adam HUN 2376
IM Kobo Ori ISR 2482   IM Siva Mahadevan IND 2356
WGM Soumya Swaminathan IND 2375   GM Debashis Das IND 2472
IM Salomon Johan NOR 2470   IM Derakhshani Dorsa IRI 2370
FM Thavandiran Shiyam CAN 2367   GM Riff Jean-Noel FRA 2468
IM Ider Borya FRA 2463   IM Bellin Robert ENG 2353
IM Kantans Toms LAT 2456   FM Rakesh Kumar Jena IND 2335
IM Javakhishvili Lela GEO 2455   IM Saravanan V. IND 2306
IM Omar Noaman UAE 2369   IM Khademalsharieh Sarasadat IRI 2452
IM Vuilleumier Alexandre SUI 2347   IM Kantor Gergely HUN 2448

Get the complete results and pairings: Masters + Challengers A + Amateur A

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Priyadarshan Banjan is a 23-year-old club player from India. He works as an editor for ChessBase News and ChessBase India. He is a chess fanatic and an avid fan of Vishy Anand. He also maintains a blog on a variety of topics.
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JiraiyaSama JiraiyaSama 2/1/2017 09:38
Mea culpa, friend! Thanks for the pointer!
virginmind virginmind 2/1/2017 08:41
Wrong, Ju Wenjun isn't the fourth, but the fifth woman to ever pass the 2600 barrier: you forgot to include Anna Muzychuk.
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